On Aug 12, 2009, at 4:29 PM, Befuddled wrote:

I think I struck out the other night because the guy I was hit­ting on was being con­sid­er­ate of his obvi­ously inter­ested friend. So my ques­tion is, when is a cock block­ing not a cock block­ing? When should a bro think first of a ho?

Befud­dled

Befud­dled,

Ah, yes, the won­ders of the “bros before hos” or “pals before gals” adage. The moral of it is that peo­ple should think first of their friend­ships as flings gen­er­ally come and go and true friend­ship lasts a life­time. Like many proverbs, though, it can be mis­in­ter­preted and taken to an exag­ger­ated extreme.

Let’s look at your case, for exam­ple. Friends should look out for each other, yes, but it’s a two-way street. The obvi­ously inter­ested friend should have seen the writ­ing on the wall, cut his losses early, left you and your tar­get alone to con­verse, and moved on to the next prospect. That would have been the respectable thing to do. Instead, I imag­ine there was an extended uncom­fort­able sit­u­a­tion of uncertainty.

But let’s not lay all the blame on him. If there was chem­istry between you and the guy you were hit­ting on, it would also have been up to him to step up his game. Instead, for what­ever rea­son, he thought it appro­pri­ate to be excep­tion­ally polite to his com­rade. Therein lies the mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the “bros before hos” mantra.

When should a bro first think of a ho? When the orig­i­nal “plan” is not work­ing out. Every sit­u­a­tion, whether social or busi­ness, needs to be reassessed on a reg­u­lar basis. In social occa­sions, such as the one you described, reassess­ment should occur rapidly and fre­quently and adjust­ments should be made accord­ingly. Remem­ber: friends should always look out for friends.

I sub­mit to you that you did not strike-out but, rather, lucked out by avoid­ing a poten­tially pathetic sit­u­a­tion. Bros before hos, yes, but we must all remem­ber to look out for num­ber one in the end. No one wants a wishy-washy mate and it sounds to me like you avoided one. Both of these guys played their cards incor­rectly, one by being inop­por­tunely zeal­ous and the other by being unfit­tingly deferential.

If you ever find your­self in a sim­i­lar sce­nario again, leave them be and search for bet­ter poten­tial. They’ll either fig­ure it out or you’ll find your­self a bet­ter suitor. Either way, you win.

Just my $0.02
Julius Pleasar

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